Science Information and Library Services (SILS)

Student Guide | Cape Cod | Everglades | Los Angeles | Download PDF

Los Angeles:

Introduction

Reading

Focus Question

The Interested Parties

The Los Angeles Area - What You Need to Know

Climate - Warm, Dry Summers and Cool, Wet Winters

The Geologic Hazards of La Crescenta

Debris Basins - Catch It If We Can

NEWSFLASH!

For Your Information: We Have a Plan

Glossary

Climate - Warm, Dry Summers and Cool, Wet Winters:

The topography of Los Angeles is diverse. The landscape ranges from beach to mountain, from desert to woodland. The Los Angeles area divides distinctly into the Los Angeles basin, which includes most of the city, the surrounding San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, and the backdrop of high mountain ranges.

Los Angeles' weather is greatly affected by topography. The climate within the city varies widely. Summer temperatures can range from a cool 68 degrees Fahrenheit on the coast to 80 degrees or 90 degrees Fahrenheit only 20 miles inland. During the winter, heavy rains are common and a single storm may drop as much as 3 inches of rain in an hour.

The San Gabriel Mountains in the Los Angeles area cause special weather conditions. Here, moist air masses move inland from the Pacific and are cooled as they meet and rise over the mountains. This cooling produces heavy rainfalls on the windward slopes. This is called the orographic effect. The eastward mountain slopes are in a rain shadow, hence rainfall is much less.

Los Angeles Civic Center

Normal monthly precipitaion Average days of precipitation

(in inches) (.01 inches or more)
January 2.92 6
February 3.07 6
March 2.61 4
April 1.03 1
May 0.19 1
June 0.03 1
July 0.01 1
August 0.14 5
September 0.45 1
October 0.31 2
November 1.98 3
December 20.3 5
About how much rainfall does each storm bring? Answer this question by dividing the monthly precipitation amout by the number of days per month with measurable rain. Which month has the heaviest storms?

Back to top

Student Guide | Cape Cod | Everglades | Los Angeles | Download PDF

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://online.wr.usgs.gov/outreach/landpeople/students/la_climate.html
Page Contact Information: WRG Web Team
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 30-Nov-2016 18:28:26 EST (mg)